Decision Making in Students Differing in Binge Drinking Patterns
Anna E. Goudriaan, Emily R. Grekin, and Kenneth J. Sher
University of Missouri-Columbia and the Midwest Alcoholism Research Center
- IGT Advantageous Choices (Stage 2 + 3 + 4) and Impulsivity: No significant correlations.
- IGT Advantageous Choices correlates negatively with Negative Alcohol Consequences at Wave 0 through Wave 4 (r =-.28 to -.19), but was non- significant for Wave 5 and Wave 6.
- IGT Advantageous Choices correlates negatively with a composite score of heavy drinking (binge drinking, getting high, and getting drunk), but only at wave 0 (r =-.28) and wave 2 (r=-.24).
- Effects of Alcohol Use Disorders
- Mancovas with the AUD group (n=68) and non- AUD group (n=124), did not reveal significant effects.
- Decision making was not affected by lifetime presence of alcohol abuse or dependence.
- Alcohol and substance dependent persons perform less well on behavioral decision making tasks, like the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT;Bechara et al., 1999).
- Heavy social drinking has been associated with diminished attention and visuospatial skills, especially for heavy social drinkers (>21 drinks/week; Parsons and Nixon, 1998).
- Little is known regarding the relation between heavy social drinking or binge drinking and decision making skills among young adults.
- The goal of this study was to determine whether levels of alcohol use and binge drinking are related to differential decision making, as measured by the IGT.
- We also investigated the relation between decision making and self-report measures of impulsivity, real life negative consequences of alcohol use, and a more general heavy drinking measure.
- The LCGM resulted in a four class solution, with a probability of categorization in the correct class (frequent binge drinking class: see left Figure) of:
- 88 % for the Non binge drinkers
- 71 % for the Moderate binge drinkers
- 71% for the Increasing binge drinkers
- 82 % for the High binge drinkers
- MANCOVAs Iowa Gambling Task:
Although all four groups learned to choose the advantageous decks
(positive slope over 4 learning stages: see Figure on the right):
- A Group by Advantageous choice interaction was present, F(3,184)=5.40, p<.01, η2=.08.
- Posthoc analyses showed that the high binge drinking group performed worse than the non-binge drinking group (p<.01, Bonferroni corrected).
- Participants were selected from a cohort of 2866 individuals taking part in a longitudinal study of student health (IMPACTS), assessing alcohol and substance related behaviors every six months, from precollege (Wave 0) through Fall of the third college year (Wave 4).
- Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA) was used to classify students into one of four groups, based on their binge drinking across 5 time points:
- Non-binge drinking at any time point (36%)
- Moderate binge drinking at any time point (30%)
- Increasing binge drinking across time (10%)
- Heavy binge drinking at all time points (24%)
- 50 participants were selected from each binge drinking group
- Chronic binge drinking students, who consume high amounts of alcohol, perform worse on a decision making task than non-binge drinking students.
- Less advantageous decision making is associated with higher levels of real life disadvantageous decisions related to alcohol use (Negative Alcohol Consequences).
- Decision making strategies are not related to impulsivity or sensation seeking.
- The results imply that in young adults, the amount of alcohol used, and pattern of alcohol use (binge drinking) may have a stronger relation to diminished neurocognitive functions, than alcohol use diagnoses per se.
Decision Making Task:
Iowa Gambling Task – computerized (Bechara et al. 1999)
- The task required 100 choices from one of four card decks:
- 2 disadvantageous decks: high rewards, but even higher losses
- 2 advantageous decks: lower rewards but also lower losses
Subjects had to discover which decks were advantageous and learn to select cards accordingly.
Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS; Robins et al., 1998)
Axis-1 Diagnoses established based on this structured clinical interview
Impulsivity: Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS)
Zuckerman Impulsivity/Sensation Seeking Scale (ImpSS)
Negative Alcohol Consequences:
Composite of a 5-item inventory, e.g.: Drunk driving, not showing up at class or work, being drunk at school/work, continuing drinking despite physical/psychological problems that get worse with drinking.
Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. R., & Lee, G. P. (1999). Different contributions of the human amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex to decision-making. Journal of Neuroscience, 19, 5473.
Parsons, O. A., & Nixon, S. J. (1998). Cognitive functioning in sober social drinkers: A review of the research since 1986. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 59(2), 180-190.
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This research was supported by NIH grants R37 AA07231 and T32 AA13526 to Kenneth J. Sher and P50 AA11998 to Andrew C. Heath.